Suspected Fatty Liver: GRAPHIC pictures of internal organs : what do you think?

1000years

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2016
13
1
19
NSW, Australia
Warning: pictures of chicken guts and mention of killing and eating chickens present in following:

The chicken (mixed breed 6 months old) had been sitting about listless, away from the other chooks for a few days.
I noticed white\green runny stuff coming out of her vent, leaving a mess on her back feathers.
I picked her up and felt her belly\back end, which was distended\enlarged.
Her breathing was rough, a bit of a gurgle in her throat.
Suspecting she was eggbound we decided to chop off her head, making the selection of which chicken to eat much easier.

After removing the feathers, her strange big tummy was more obvious.
As I gutted her I thought I might find an egg stuck in there.
But there was no egg. Instead there was heaps and heaps of yellow fat inside with her organs
(Her actual body, eg legs and breast were quite scrawny, more like a rooster than a hen)
Her organs seemed really weird;: a huge organ, that I can only assume is an oversized liver, but very pale, a kind of tan colour, and so fragile it just disintegrated whenever it was touched.

I am hoping it is fatty liver otherwise the other chicken illnesses that have similar descriptions sound quite horrendous and contagious. None of the other chooks are displaying any symptoms.

1. Do you think it is Fatty liver disease?
2. can we eat the meat?


Here is the photo I took of her insides. They were all mixed in with that bright yellow fat. I think the things at the top are her liver. Correct me if I am wrong. I don't usually look to closely at the organs. This experience has inspired me to look more next time I gut a chicken!

WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURE BELOW




 

Cowgirl71

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
3,176
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Missouri Ozarks
I'm not sure what that is, wish I could be more help.

If it were me though, I wouldn't suggest eating the meat from a sick listless animal, unless you're 100% sure of what the cause/sickness was and your vet says it's okay to eat. It's not worth the risk. I would burn the carcass, feathers, guts, everything. Just in case it is contagious to you, your flock, or any of your other animals.
 

1000years

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2016
13
1
19
NSW, Australia
Thanks cowgirl,
Hopefully none of the others get ill.
We did separate her from the others, after she had already started just sitting around on her own.
 

sjturner79

Songster
Mar 5, 2015
1,712
276
196
South Australia
Warning: pictures of chicken guts and mention of killing and eating chickens present in following: The chicken (mixed breed 6 months old) had been sitting about listless, away from the other chooks for a few days. I noticed white\green runny stuff coming out of her vent, leaving a mess on her back feathers. I picked her up and felt her belly\back end, which was distended\enlarged. Her breathing was rough, a bit of a gurgle in her throat. Suspecting she was eggbound we decided to chop off her head, making the selection of which chicken to eat much easier. After removing the feathers, her strange big tummy was more obvious. As I gutted her I thought I might find an egg stuck in there. But there was no egg. Instead there was heaps and heaps of yellow fat inside with her organs (Her actual body, eg legs and breast were quite scrawny, more like a rooster than a hen) Her organs seemed really weird;: a huge organ, that I can only assume is an oversized liver, but very pale, a kind of tan colour, and so fragile it just disintegrated whenever it was touched. I am hoping it is fatty liver otherwise the other chicken illnesses that have similar descriptions sound quite horrendous and contagious. None of the other chooks are displaying any symptoms. 1. Do you think it is Fatty liver disease? 2. can we eat the meat? Here is the photo I took of her insides. They were all mixed in with that bright yellow fat. I think the things at the top are her liver. Correct me if I am wrong. I don't usually look to closely at the organs. This experience has inspired me to look more next time I gut a chicken! WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURE BELOW
1 that is not fatty liver, the liver is the bit with the bright blue, and has about the normal amount of fat for a winter hen. I do not know what caused the obesity. 2. No way. You should only eat animals that were in perfect health.
 

1000years

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2016
13
1
19
NSW, Australia
, the liver is the bit with the bright blue, and has about the normal amount of fat for a winter hen.

The mystery continues.

Thanks @sjturner79,

Do you mean the blue in this picture because that was the gizzard. I know it looks very weird, the wrong color , shape and texture but I really think that strange mass was the liver. There was no typical dark red liver in the chicken at all.wish I had taken some more helpful pictures!

That's good to know it is typical winter fat. Actually I have only butchered roosters before so probably they have had less internal fat.
 
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Beekissed

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
5,132
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This world is not my home.
1 that is not fatty liver, the liver is the bit with the bright blue, and has about the normal amount of fat for a winter hen. I do not know what caused the obesity.
2. No way. You should only eat animals that were in perfect health.


Yes, it sounds like fatty liver, especially if the liver was that fragile and the color and size of that liver would indicate it was diseased, though it might not have been the cause of her illness....I've opened up many an old hen who had livers like that and hugely more fat stores that did not die from it. I'd be more concerned with that huge pocket of fluid in what looks like a section of bowel, though I cannot tell for sure from this pic....next time string out the organs so that one can see the entire digestive tract. Next time you might consider opening up the bowels and have a look inside, particularly the small bowel, where parasites are more prone to live. What did her ovary look like? Any lash eggs in the oviduct?

The part with the "bright blue" is the gizzard, not the liver.

That amount of fat is not inordinately large for a hen, I've seen much, much worse.
 

1000years

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2016
13
1
19
NSW, Australia
Thank you @BeekissedI really appreciate your input.
Yes we did note liquid coming out of her vent.
Next time I will lay out the organs more thoroughly before taking pics, and check them myself for future reference. I do have a science degree but not in biology , but I'm always keen to research and get facts and reference points!

Actually I have only ever prepared roosters before, we have also become known as one of those places that others can take their unwanted roosters to! no idea about oviducts ... Will have to dissect more scientifically next time it is a hen!!
 
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Beekissed

Free Ranging
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Feb 14, 2008
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This world is not my home.
That's good that you get to utilize those roosters.....I do the same here when I can and just got 4 cockerels from my sister yesterday for the same reason. She buys her chicken from the store when she wants to eat it, but would never contemplate just using what she has in her back yard. It's all a mystery to me but it has its benefits for those of us who see chicken when we see a chicken.

I've got some pics on here someplace of all the organs laid out and even a pic of an old hen on the half shell, so to speak, with her organs all in their natural place if you would like to see them. Got to run to town today but can hunt them down later on.
 

1000years

In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2016
13
1
19
NSW, Australia
would never contemplate just using what she has in her back yard. It's all a mystery to me but it has its benefits for those of us who see chicken when we see a chicken.

I've got some pics on here someplace of all the organs laid out and even a pic of an old hen on the half shell, so to speak, with her organs all in their natural place if you would like to see them. Got to run to town today but can hunt them down later on.
Yes the preference to get food in a package is probably a sign of the modern times.

If you could post the organs photo when you have time that would be great, I have been searching for some on the web with only limited success.
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
5,132
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This world is not my home.
Here's a pic or two that shows a couple of each organ and a digestive tract.....



Left to right: Lungs, right above those is a bile sac that is attached to the liver and has to be cut out carefully to avoid rupturing it and spoiling the meat, to the right of the lungs is a pair of testes, below the testes is kidneys, to the right of those are two livers, below the bottom liver is a spleen, moving right are two hearts and below all of these is the digestive tract...should have spread it out better than this, but left to right is the esophagus, crop, proventriculus, gizzard, small intestine, at the intersection of the small and large intestines is the ceca, which you cannot see here but are two long pouches where cellulose is digested....when you see a tannish and really stinky liquid stool it's from these pouches. About every 10th BM is from that source, so they say.

Here's a better pic off the web of the entire digestive tract of the chicken....




Here's a closer pic of those various organs.....




Here's a pic of an old hen opened on the half shell, with the organs in the place where they normally reside...you can see in this pic her liver is pretty fatty and discolored, but she didn't die of that...she was killed while still healthy as can be so she could be eaten. If you have any questions about this pic and the various organs you can see here, just ask. This pic even shows her ovary and oviduct.




Here's a closer look at that ovary and oviduct....




And you thought YOUR hen was fat?? Take a look at this old gal.....

This was her gizzard...



Under her skin....



On her body....



I didn't even take a pic of the huge layer of fat she had stored in her abdomen and around her vent....a good 2 in. thick and big as the palm of my hand.

Before you think I overfeed my birds, this bird was living mostly on foraged feed all day long and sharing 1 1/2 c. of fermented layer mash each evening with 13 other LF birds, so she wasn't getting enough at the feeder to get her this fat....the fall forage here is phenomenal. She had to walk all day long to get that feed, so she was exercising aplenty but still managed to be the fattest bird I've ever processed and I've butchered hundreds and hundreds of birds in my lifetime.

Hope these help! .
 

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